Imagine: Much of the population of a city of 300,000 people lies awake each night, listening to high-explosive shells and rockets landing and exploding all around. They are trying to imagine ways to chase away the military force that has laid their city to seige, and to kill or capture any soldiers who resist. They have few weapons. Most of the foreign nations that support them have hesitated to provide more. What would the machinists do?
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS.
More images from inside one of the rebel workshops. At top, the plates that will soon form a double-walled armor shield in the back of a pickup. These plates are welded into a place a short distance apart, filled with sand, and sealed with foam insulation at their top. This is a relatively recent innovation; the fighting stands in earlier trucks did not have this design. Note the DShK machine gun on the swivel crude mount, and the locally maufactured ammunition can. At bottom, another view of the “trigger” being fashioned for a PKT, as discussed in the previous post. What you can’t see from this photograph is that the machinist is missing the tip of his left index finger, from the first knuckle. He severed it while working with a grinder in this same shop, about a month back. Misurata, Libya. By the author. See Bryan’s slide show on the NYT site (link above) for, as usual, the professional take. It’s incredible today — a rare glimpse inside a rare time and place.